In the midst of fighting allegations of slave labor in the Ivory Coast, Nestle is now investigating similar accusations in Thailand.
According to The Guardian, Nestle stated that after a year-long investigation they found out that slave labor had been used in the seafood industry in Thailand, and in the production of Nestle’s Fancy Feast cat food brand.
The slaves being used are from working in Thailand but are from nearby Myanmar and Cambodia.
“I have been working on this boat for 10 years. I have no savings. I am barely surviving,” said one worker. “Life is very difficult here.”
Nestle has spoken out against the slave labor being used and said they were remedying the situation.
“As we’ve said consistently, forced labour and human rights abuses have no place in our supply chain,” said Magdi Batato, Nestlé’s executive vice-president in charge of operations, in a written statement. “Nestlé believes that by working with suppliers we can make a positive difference to the sourcing of ingredients.”
Although Nestle is self-reporting their findings and investigations, not everyone is applauding them.
Andrew Wallis, chief executive of Unseen UK, an anti-trafficking charity advocating for more supply chain accountability, said: “For me there is a big issue with one part of Nestlé saying, ‘OK we have been dragged along with everyone else to face the issue of slavery in Thailand and so let’s take the initiative and do something about it’, and at the same time fighting tooth and nail through the courts to avoid charges of child slavery in its core operations in the Ivory Coast.”
“It’s easy to own up to something that has already been uncovered,” he says. “By the time Nestlé owned up to slavery in the Thai seafood industry it was accepted knowledge. It’ll be a brave new world when companies are actually doing the real investigation to probe into part of their supply chains that have remained outside the public domain.”